Sanddust Mixed w/ Polyurethane to fill Gaps & Cracks

Hello there, I am to refinish old wooden oak floors in my apartment. The floors are in a pretty bad shape with a lot of gaps & cracks. A friend suggested that instead of using a wood filler, I use a mixture of fine sanddust from the floors and polyurethane. This way the color of the filler will be the same as the color or the wood. Is anybody familiar with this method? Thank you,
Mako
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Sand dust or saw dust? I'm not sure of the answer but sand is very different from wood. Sand is often used to make something non-slip. When you sand the floors it should take care of most issues. I have seen jute or hemp rope strands to fill large gaps between boards. poly over that. many coats.
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I think he meant the dust that was produced by sanding the floor, which would be the same color as the floor, assuming the floor wasn't subsequently stained.
This sort of thing is normal in woodworking (glue + sawdust), but I don't know about poly as the binder.
--
Keith

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it's common to use the finish as the binder.
however, when the boards expand again when it gets more humid in the summer, all that filler will be popped out.
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On 2006-01-20 14:02:06 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@spam.invalid (Mako) said:

Even if you use sanding dust from the wood that you plan to fill, the mixture of sanding dust and poly is going to be a LOT darker colored than the wood it was made from, due to the smaller particle size absorbing the poly differently (i.e., sanding dust versus sanded face grain).
I would either sand the cracks and dings all the way out or find a way to live with the imperfections. Wood filler looks like cr@p IMHO, and rarely lasts very long anyway. (This is assuming you plan to stain the floor rather than paint it. If you plan to paint it, I might patch the holes with a paste made from epoxy and sawdust, then sand, then paint.)
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Thanks to everybody who posted comments. I guess, I was mostly having gaps in mind as I was posting my message. There are quite a few of those in my apartment and I wasn't sure how to deal with them after I sand the floor. Now that I know that boards are likely to expand as humidity increases, I have a second thought about filling the gaps with some kind of filler.
PS: Sanddust is the dust produced by fine sanding the floor once the top layer is removed.
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" I guess, I was mostly having gaps in mind" "I wasn't sure how to deal with them after I sand the floor."
Proper floor sanding is an art, Edgers especially, can eat a heck of a recess in the floor in a hurry.
Back in the "Old Days", they used paste wood filler on hardwood floors after sanding, smeared it on heavy and wiped it up with burlap across grain. Haven't heard of that being done for 40 years.
"Sanddust is the dust produced by fine sanding "
I would not use this, as said above, it will finish out very dark, like dirt in your gaps.
Walt Conner
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Hello everybody, thank you for your comments. I find them very helpful, but one thing that I still don't know is how to approach this problem. So, the mixture of sanddust and polyurethane is out, wood filler is out, is there any type of material that could be used to fill gaps between the boards that is compressible? Or should I just leave it alone; sand the floor, stain it, and polyurethane it? What would you do if you had a similar situation? Thank alot,
Mako
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On 2006-01-21 12:02:17 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@spam.invalid (Mako) said:

I would just leave the gaps alone. They'll disapear in the summer when the relative humidity goes back up. If you fill the gaps and then the boards expand laterally due to higher RH, you're going to have warped boards, and cupping, and pulled fasteners and all kinds of nightmares.
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I dont know if this will work for you , but I have heard of people using rope as a filler (regular anchor type rope, but much MUCH thinner)
It stays flexible enough for expansion and contraction and should stain to the same oak color.
Again I read this somewhere and dont have any practical experience on this yet. (I do have a similar problem on some of my oak floors in my house)
I will try to correct that soon though...
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